Monday, January 19, 2015

Figure Frenzy!

Happy MLK Day! What are you doing with your day off? 

I wanted to share with you a resource that I created during my student teaching three years ago but still use yearly in my classroom math stations....Figure Frenzy! If you're interested, here is the TPT link. 

So this game greatly evolved since I created it three years ago. At the time. I was student teaching on a third-grade team with a total of four classrooms (19 kids each). Those teachers rotated who made the lesson plans each week. I had no idea what I was doing. Looking back, I am not really sure how I got through student teaching. I was like a lost dog and didn't have much support. I wasn't aware of all the online resources for teaching, or how to use a laminator. I didn't know about TPT, or Super Teacher, or the enormous resources available for worksheets and games. However, I think the "sink or swim" approach truly made me a better teacher in the end, I figured it out fast. I made four sets of these games for each of the third-grade teachers and cut out all the pieces by hand for each of them. I remember sitting on the floor of boyfriend's (now ex-boyfriend.... thank goodness) apartment cutting away for hours when I created center games like this for the team . 

I am now an expert at multi-tasking... as well as how to print to a color printer and laminate for five minutes after dropping my kids off at lunch to make max use of time. I work my butt off during the kids' recess, lunch, and all specials because I don't like staying after school due to traffic and because I tutor neighborhood kids. I much prefer to get in a little earlier, not eat lunch, and get my business done for the day. It is hectic, but I like staying busy. Lots of people aren't morning people, but it's when I notice that I am at my best. When do you woke best?

I printed this game off on a color printer, laminated, cut up the pieces, and hot-glued the title to a Ziploc slider bag. I adore those slider bags.... for some reason my kids cannot figure out regular Ziplock bags. Have your kids mastered this skill? Half-zipped baggies are my enemy, so I just choose to use these fail proof ones. I used to do the Manila envelope for center games and activities, but the envelope got icky so quick, I think I prefer the Ziplock bags now. Plus I have a lifetime supply...every year the kids bring in so many! I'll write a post later about the easy and efficient way I realized to store them without those giant, bulky boxes. 

Figure Frenzy! is pretty fun. The kids can work in pairs, threes, fours, whatever. They take turns drawing a card and doing whatever the card says. For example, "name a real-life example of a cone," "draw a right angle," or "make an obtuse angle with your arms." There are no winners or losers, but the kids love how fast-paced it is. This game is great because it can be used when your third-graders learn about geometry, or any time afterward as a math center review game. Once they learn how to play, you can always have it on board as a center or station activity for any day. I make a few of these so that more than one group can play at a time. I also have used it during guided math at my small table with the kids as review... hand each kid a whiteboard and you can quickly assess their knowledge on a topic. 


What kind of games or math centers do you use for geometry?



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